How To Get Rid Of Faux Leather Smell

If you love the look and feel of faux leather furniture or clothing, but can’t stand that stubborn fake leather odor, you’re not alone. While faux leather offers an animal-friendly alternative to real leather, it comes with a distinctive, and not always pleasant, smell.

Fortunately, there are several effective methods to help eliminate that bothersome faux leather scent.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: wipe down faux leather with vinegar or rubbing alcohol, sprinkle with baking soda, or use commercial odor eliminating sprays made for synthetic fabrics.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get rid of faux leather smell for good. You’ll learn the reasons behind the odor, ingredient tips for DIY cleaners, effective commercial products to try, and step-by-step instructions for specific faux leather items.

What Causes the Faux Leather Smell?

Faux leather, also known as synthetic leather or pleather, is a popular material used in the manufacturing of various products such as furniture, clothing, and accessories. While it offers a more affordable and animal-friendly alternative to genuine leather, it often comes with a distinct smell that can be quite unpleasant.

The faux leather smell is caused by a combination of factors:

Chemical Compounds

Faux leather is typically made from a base material such as polyester or polyurethane, which is then coated with a layer of chemicals to give it the appearance and texture of real leather. These chemicals can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to the unpleasant smell.

Some of the common chemicals found in faux leather include phthalates, formaldehyde, and various adhesives.

Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process of faux leather involves the use of different techniques and machinery. During these processes, various substances and solvents are used, which can leave behind residual odors.

Additionally, the heat and pressure applied during manufacturing can also affect the smell of the final product.

Packaging and Storage

The way faux leather products are packaged and stored can also impact the smell. If the items are stored in a confined space or in packaging that doesn’t allow for proper ventilation, the trapped odors can become more concentrated.

Similarly, if the products are stored in an environment with high humidity, it can lead to the growth of mold or mildew, resulting in an unpleasant smell.

Quality of Materials

The quality of the materials used in the production of faux leather can play a role in the smell. Lower quality materials may contain more impurities or have a higher concentration of chemicals, leading to a stronger and more persistent odor.

To mitigate the faux leather smell, it is important to understand its causes. By addressing these factors, you can effectively reduce or eliminate the unpleasant odor and enjoy your faux leather products without any discomfort.

How to Get Rid of Faux Leather Smell on Furniture

If you have recently purchased furniture made of faux leather and noticed an unpleasant smell, don’t worry! There are several simple and effective methods to get rid of that faux leather smell. Here are some tips to help you eliminate the odor and enjoy your furniture to the fullest.

1. Wipe Down With Vinegar

Vinegar is a versatile household ingredient that can be used to remove odors, including the faux leather smell. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Then, lightly spray the solution onto a clean cloth and gently wipe down the furniture.

Vinegar helps neutralize odors and leaves a fresh scent behind. Plus, it’s a natural and affordable option.

2. Sprinkle Baking Soda

Baking soda is known for its odor-absorbing properties. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the faux leather surface and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Then, use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove the baking soda.

This method helps absorb and eliminate the unpleasant smell from the furniture.

3. Steam Clean

Steam cleaning is another effective way to remove odors from faux leather furniture. Using a handheld steam cleaner or a garment steamer, direct the steam onto the surface of the furniture, focusing on the areas with the strongest smell.

The heat from the steam helps to break down the odor molecules, leaving your furniture smelling fresh and clean.

4. Use Commercial Odor Sprays

If the faux leather smell persists, you can also try using commercial odor sprays specifically designed for furniture. These sprays are formulated to eliminate odors and leave a pleasant scent behind. Follow the instructions on the product label and apply the spray evenly on the furniture.

Remember to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage.

By following these tips, you can easily get rid of the faux leather smell on your furniture. Remember to always check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer before using any cleaning products. Now, you can enjoy your furniture without any unpleasant odors!

Removing Faux Leather Odors from Clothing and Accessories

Faux leather is a popular material used in clothing and accessories, but it often comes with a strong smell that can be unpleasant. Fortunately, there are several methods you can try to get rid of the faux leather smell and enjoy your items without any unwanted odors.

Here are some effective ways to remove faux leather odors from clothing and accessories:

Hang Outside in Fresh Air

One simple and natural way to eliminate the faux leather smell is to hang your clothing or accessories outside in fresh air. The fresh air and sunlight can help to dissipate the odor over time. Find a well-ventilated area, such as a balcony or backyard, and hang the items for a few hours or even overnight.

This method is particularly effective for removing mild odors.

Wash with Vinegar

Vinegar is a versatile household ingredient that can be used to remove odors, including faux leather smells. To use vinegar, create a solution by mixing equal parts vinegar and water. Soak a cloth or sponge in the solution and gently wipe down the faux leather item.

Make sure to cover the entire surface. Allow the item to air dry, and the vinegar smell will dissipate, taking the faux leather odor with it.

Use Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is an excellent odor absorber and can be used to eliminate faux leather smells. Place a small bowl or bag of activated charcoal near the faux leather item and leave it for a few days. The charcoal will absorb the odor, leaving your item smelling fresh.

You can find activated charcoal at most pet stores or online.

Commercial Faux Leather Cleaners

If the faux leather smell persists after trying the above methods, you may want to consider using a commercial faux leather cleaner. These cleaners are specifically designed to remove odors and stains from faux leather.

Follow the instructions on the product carefully and test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the item before using it on the entire surface. Be sure to choose a cleaner that is suitable for the type of faux leather you have.

By following these methods, you can effectively remove faux leather odors from your clothing and accessories. Remember to be patient and give the methods enough time to work. Soon, you’ll be able to enjoy your faux leather items without any unwanted smells.

Tips for Preventing Faux Leather Smells

Let New Items Air Out Before Use

When you purchase a new item made of faux leather, it’s important to let it air out before using it. Faux leather is often made from synthetic materials, and sometimes there can be a strong chemical odor associated with it.

By allowing the item to air out, you give it a chance to release any trapped odors and freshen up.

To air out your new faux leather item, simply remove it from any packaging or plastic bags and leave it in a well-ventilated area. This could be outside on a patio or balcony, or even near an open window. Give it at least a few hours, or even overnight, to let the smell dissipate.

You can also try placing a bowl of baking soda near the item, as it can help absorb any lingering odors.

Keep in Well-Ventilated Area

Another way to prevent faux leather smells is to store your items in a well-ventilated area. If you keep your faux leather items in a closed, confined space, such as a closet or drawer, the smell can become trapped and intensify over time.

Instead, try to store your faux leather items in an area with good airflow. This could be on an open shelf or hanging them on a clothing rack. If you must store them in a closed space, consider using a sachet or a scented drawer liner to help counteract any potential odors.

Clean Regularly

Maintaining cleanliness is key to preventing faux leather smells. Just like any other material, faux leather can accumulate dirt, oils, and stains over time, which can contribute to unpleasant odors.

Regularly clean your faux leather items using a mild soap and water solution. Gently wipe down the surface with a soft cloth or sponge, being careful not to scrub too hard and damage the material. After cleaning, allow the item to air dry completely before using or storing it.

Additionally, you can use specialized faux leather cleaners or deodorizers to help keep your items smelling fresh. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product and test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to faux leather smells. By following these tips, you can enjoy your faux leather items without any unwanted odors.


Although faux leather offers animal-friendly appeal, its distinctive odor can be off-putting. With the right techniques and products, however, you can successfully eliminate faux leather smells for good.

Test different DIY and commercial cleaners to discover which method works best for your particular faux leather items. With routine cleaning and proper care, you can enjoy the look and feel of faux leather without the bothersome smell.

Now that you know how to get rid of that stubborn faux leather scent, you can fully enjoy your cruelty-free clothes and furniture! Just be sure to air items out before use, clean regularly, and store in well-ventilated spaces to prevent odors from returning.

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